The NCAA should apply its “death penalty” to the Penn State University football program by canceling the next two seasons. Â It would actually be doing the university a favor by applying its harshest medicine.
Lots of knashing of teeth and expressions of shock and dismay by commentators and members of the public came yesterday following former FBI director Louis Freeh’s announcement that his investigation determined that Penn State University‘s leadership engaged in a systematic and sustained coverup of former football coach Jerry Sandusky‘s heinous sex crimes against children.
Today’s edition of The New York Times leads with a four-column above the fold story and photo spread that is so damning, that anyone who maybe a Penn State alumnus or affiliated with the university could only feel deep shame.
The country should be ashamed.
But no one should be surprised. This is a university that made a calculated decision that football was more important that the well being of hundreds of children, whom Sandusky literally hunted by using his now-defunctÂ Second Mile Foundation for at-risk children–to recruit them as intended targets for his perverse, pedophiliac attraction toward prepubescent boys.
Freeh said during his press conferenceÂ yesterdayÂ that “the mostÂ powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the childrenÂ who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley neverÂ demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being ofÂ Sanduskyâ€™s victims until after Sanduskyâ€™s arrest.”
And, Freeh said most importantly, they did so for “fear of bad publicity” that would ultimately damage the exalted football program.
These repeated crimes, for which Sandusky was found guilty last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse, were affirmatively protected from investigation and prosecution through a conspiracy led by Graham Spanier, the former president and a licensed therapist; Joe Paterno, the once beloved football coach, an iconic figure who is forever discredited in death; Tim Curley, the former athletic director; Gary Schultz, a university vice president, who oversaw campus police and Thomas Harmon, the former chief of campus police.
Curley and Schultz face forthcoming criminal trials, among their charges are perjury.
When you stack up these staggering criminal convictions, as well as additional pending criminal charges and the Â Freeh report that lays out a calculated conspiracy, the breathtaking institutional overreach at Penn State to protect the football program, simply pales when compared to extensive rule violations byÂ Southern Methodist University’s football program, whom the NCAA punished with the “death penalty” by canceling the SMU’s 1987 game schedule. Cash and cars for athletes versus a football coach who engaged in the systematic rape of children in the university football athletic facility, allowed to continue for 14 years with impunity while the entire leadership of the university remained complicit in silence and inaction?
This is so obvious, even to the most casual observer.
Shut down the Penn State football program for two years.
The NCAA, which has implemented the “death penalty” only five times before, would actually be doing the university a favor. Penn State needs to clean house from top to bottom–reset its priorities and demonstrate through its practices and values that it understands the depth of the Spanier-Paterno-Sandusky violations and how far the institution has strayed from its main purpose, which is to educate young people as future thinkers and leaders of our country.
Another reason for the NCAA to apply the death penalty is Penn State’s failure to implementÂ the Clery Act, a federal law that requires university and colleges to annually report crimes committed on campus to the Department of Education. Failure to report campus crimes includes penalties up to $27, 500 per infraction. Indeed, not only has Penn State failed to report these covered up crimes to the federal government, but according to Freeh’s report, they hadn’t even implemented the Clery Act itself:
As you will read in our report, Penn State failed to implement the provisions of the Clery Act, a 1990 federal law that requires the collecting and reporting of the crimes such as Sandusky committed on campus in 2001. Indeed, on the day Sandusky was arrested, Penn Stateâ€™s Clery Act implementation plan was still in draft form. Mr. Spanier said that he and the Board never even had aÂ discussion about the Clery Act until November 2011.
This stunning finding by Freeh raises even more questions. Fortunately, the Department of Education had announced in November 2011 it was opening up an investigation into “sexual misconduct” at Penn State, that will review compliance with the Clery Act. But as Freeh’s report makes clear, Penn State had not even implemented the law. How did Penn State manage to escape implementation without the Department of Education raising this as an issue years ago? Â It is my hope that the federal government will throw the book at Penn State, max out their Clery penalties and leverage future federal aid by insisting on rigorous oversight and compliance.
Penn State’s sordid chapter of Jerry Sandusky and its pedophilia scandal will not be over for some time to come. Sandusky faces sentencing next month; Curley and Schultz face criminal trials; the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office is likely to continue, if not expand its investigation based upon the findings of the Freeh report and a forthcoming investigation by the federal department of education has yet to be finalized.
And then there are the children.
All the children who were raped and abused by not only Sandusky, but, by extension, by Penn State University’s active conspiracy and coverup. Somehow, someway, the university needs to compensate these victims for this heart wrenching abuse that will surely be with them to end of their lives. All the more important that Penn State University football should be demoted so the State College community and the country can heal.
Tanya L. DomiÂ is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs atÂ Columbia UniversityÂ and teaches human rights in East Central Europe andÂ former Yugoslavia.Â Â Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues. Â She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive
Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.
Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”
The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”
“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”
Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”
Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”
“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”
Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Total Breakdown’: House Sends Members Home – Experts Warn ‘Republicans Can’t Govern’ And Have No ‘Working Majority’
Nine days before an increasingly-likely shutdown of the federal government of the United States, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has effectively adjourned the House for the rest of the week, with GOP leadership telling members they may go home and come back next week, after a procedural vote to fund the Dept. of Defense failed for the second time this week.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports, “Note that the House has not officially dismissed everyone.. but everyone expects they are done for the week. Why? They House lacks the VOTES TO ADJOURN.”
He later added that “Things are very fluid,” and “there could be votes TOMORROW or this weekend still in the house. This could be a problem if some members already got on flights.”
Fox News online is reporting, “House abruptly cancels votes for the week without spending deal after series of defeats for GOP leaders,” and notes members are not expected back until Tuesday.
McCarthy this week has repeatedly denigrated and attacked the extremist members of the House Republican conference on camera to reporters, and Thursday was no different, saying, “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) blasted House Republicans upon hearing the House was about to adjourn for the week.
“What you need to understand is that chaos is the point for a big chunk of House Republicans. They came to congress to BURN THE GOVERNMENT TO THE GROUND,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote. “Their goal is a shutdown.”
The sentiment is being echoed by political experts, but many of those are placing the blame on Speaker McCarthy.
Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro Thursday afternoon wrote: “Reminder: Kevin McCarthy could put a clean bill to fund the government on the floor right now and it would pass easily. Instead, he’s sending members home for the weekend with 9 days until a shutdown—all because he’s afraid he’ll lose his job.”
Evidence that the far-right extremist House Republicans, led by U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are effectively in control comes via Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman:
At 1:13 PM ET Sherman posted that Rep. Gaetz had “just emerged from” Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s suite. “Gaetz said that he’s advocating for pausing consideration of the Pentagon spending bill and moving to bills that cut spending. He mentioned: State-Foreign Ops, Agriculture, Energy and Water.”
Sherman noted that Gaetz “said again there are not enough votes” for a continuing resolution, legislation to keep the government open temporarily, possibly 30 days past the September 30 deadline.
“Just to review, the plan right now is to begin passing 11 appropriations bills with relatively open rules allowing for amendments between next tues (possibly wed) and Sunday.”
At 2:40 PM, Sherman added, “This is now the strategy. They’re going to bring up individual approps [appropriations] bills next week, per lawmakers who just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy.”
Others were less pleased.
Veteran foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen wrote: “truly insane. Mccarthy surrendered to Gaetz.”
Even before McCarthy adjourned the House for the rest of the week, political experts had warned the volatile situation was worse than it may have appeared.
Sherman, late Thursday morning, issued this warning on social media after the failed Defense Dept. vote: “Just to put this in context, republicans cannot even agree to debate the pentagon spending bill. This bill usually passes by big margins. It failed twice this week. Kevin mccarthys House Republicans are in a state of crisis.”
Josh Chafetz, Georgetown Law professor of law and politics, responded to Thursday’s failed Defense Dept. procedural vote, writing: “if you can’t pass the procedural stuff you don’t have a working majority.”
Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) is calling the state of the GOP House a “total breakdown.”
“I started working in the House nearly 11 years ago, I’ve seen some crazy days and some chaotic votes but never seen anything like what is happening with this majority. Just a total breakdown,” he wrote Thursday morning.
Professor and American historian Aaron Astor on Thursday asked, “Does the GOP actually have a working majority in the House?”
Veteran journalist John Harwood quickly replied, “clearly not.”
‘Just Want to Burn the Whole Place Down’: McCarthy Rails Against House Republicans as GOP Conference Explodes in Chaos
Speaker Kevin McCarthy unleashed his anger against his own House Republican conference Thursday as chaos erupted after yet another procedural vote on a defense spending bill failed and the clock ticks closer to a GOP-caused shutdown of the federal government.
McCarthy “failed a crucial test Thursday of his ability to unite his fractured Republican caucus as he tries to rally support to pass a spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the month,” CNBC adds.
“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate, and then you got all the amendments and if you don’t like the bill,” McCarthy admitted to reporters in what has increasingly become opportunities for him to trash the most far-right Republicans in the House.
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” he lamented. “It doesn’t work.”
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
— After House Republicans once again failed to pass a basic procedural rule to fund the Pentagon, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hits some members of his own conference pic.twitter.com/Qt4AR71jP3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023
“This is really unheard of,” CNBC’s Emily Wilkins reported. “I mean just a rule going down as a procedural thing, that’s pretty rare as is, and for it to happen twice in one week. Last night Republicans came ut of their all hands on deck Republican meeting. A number of them sounded optimistic about moving forward.”
Thursday failed procedural vote “really did catch Speaker McCarthy by surprise,” Wilkins added.
“He said he did not realize there were not going to be the votes to move forward on this.”
The House failed to pass a procedural rules vote today, @emrwilkins
reports. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “That doesn’t work.” https://t.co/1xf6Y33riV pic.twitter.com/kK31lrHOyr
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 21, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
- News13 hours ago
Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.
- News3 days ago
Legal Expert Points to Another Trump Confession That ‘Got Very Little Attention’
- News3 days ago
‘Grabbing the Hog During a Live Musical’: Fetterman Mocks Fox News and Boebert Over Dress Code Outrage
- OPINION2 days ago
‘Declaring the Office of Speaker to Be Vacant’: Reporter Finds Possible Gaetz Resolution in House Restroom
- News2 days ago
‘This Is Stupidity’: House Republican Slams McCarthy and His ‘Clown Show’ of ‘Lunatics’ as Clock Ticks Toward Shutdown
- News2 days ago
Trump Worried He Will Lose Secret Service Protection and Have to Wear ‘One of Those Jumpsuits’ if He Goes to Jail: Report
- News2 days ago
‘Knock It Off’: Matt Gaetz Thinks Merrick Garland Should Tell the President to Not Allow Hunter Biden at State Dinners
- OPINION1 day ago
Fetterman Vows to GOP ‘Jagoffs’ He Will ‘Save Democracy by Wearing a Suit’ but He Has Two Conditions